CARLOS OLIVA was born on a February 15th in one of Cuba's most beautiful cities, Sancti-Spiritus, province of Las Villas. Without a doubt, this Aquarian portrayed his musical talent at an early age, singing when he was just learning his first few words. As time went by and almost without realizing it, Carlos was playing congas, bongoes and drums, "jamming" with every orchestra that would perform in his hometown.
In 1961, he went to Colombia and then to Miami, as part of one of the first exiled groups that escaped the island of Cuba. He began working with the Cuban Catholic Youth Program in a camp known as "Matecumbe", which was also part of Catholic Welfare, in a program known as "Peter Pan". It was there, while working as an instructor or counselor, helping kids that would arrive without their parents, that he met others who shared his passion for music; one of them was none other than Willy Chirino.
With his great enthusiasm and optimism, he formed a trio and started playing at the Sands Hotel in Miami Beach. While there, he met Julio Gutiérrez, the Cuban musician, arranger and composer of the 40's, legendary author of the boleros "Inolvidable" and "Llanto de luna".With Julio and Willy Chirino, Roberto Lozano and Héctor Fernández, he went to New York. Afterwards, Chirino returned to Miami and Carlos stayed with Julio Gutiérrez, singing and playing drums with his orchestra, sharing stage with many well known artists of today, who were then just making a name for themselves.
In 1967 and still in New York, he established a trio with Eddy Elmer and Héctor Fernández, who would later be substituted by his brother Javier OLIVA in Miami. This was the beginning of "The Judge's Nephews", name inspired in the famous phrase by Sammy Davis Jr.: "Here comes the Judge..."
The performances of CARLOS OLIVA and his trio became a huge success at "The Forge" in Miami Beach, where they would play songs like "Guantanamera" and "Cu cu rru cu cú paloma" in "rock-influenced" arrangements, and Stevie Wonder tunes in Son and Guaracha arrangements. These are considered to be "the experiments" that led to the development of what would be known as the "Miami Sound".
Movie star Connie Stevens, one of The Forge's most assiduous visitors and her manager, were fascinated by the unique style of "The Judge's Nephews" and they arranged performances in the most important show venues of Las Vegas. Their success was unprecedented and The Judge's Nephews even performed in the Mike Douglas Show of NBC Television.
The Judge's Nephews had recorded two albums, both extremely successful locally, when the inevitable occurred: the international success of "Glorioso San Antonio", composed by Brazilian authors Antonio Carlos and Jocaffi. CARLOS OLIVA's great talent in using all the rhythmic elements in a melody inspired in religious processions, made this song a great hit. Since then, "Pelotero la bola", "Ekelecuá", "Dime si te gustó", "Vehículo", "Yayabo" and others, have confirmed the success and continuity of this great band.
A solid and successful career, the magnetism of a super personality, a great sense of creativity and a television image known to national audiences, have all impressed millions of people. CARLOS OLIVA's place in the history of Latin Music in the United States is guaranteed by his position, without a doubt, as one of the founders of the musical movement developed by the fusion of rock, jazz, samba, son, guaracha and other Cuban rhythms, known today as the "Miami Sound". Time Magazine credits CARLOS OLIVA as the precursor of this popular musical sound.
It was the year 1974 when a young and restless admirer of "The Judge's Nephews" named Emilio Estefan, director of a musical group formed by guys, the "Miami Latin Boys", asked Carlos to help him record an album. During that time, OLIVA recorded with "Audio Latino", record label owned by Tomás Fundora, who told him: "If you produce it, I'll record it!" Gloria and her cousin Mercy had just joined the band and because of this, they decided to rename them "Miami Sound Machine". The rest is history...
In 1979, OLIVA established his own record label "Common Cause Records/Causa Común", to continue producing talent, a job that had included not only "Miami Sound Machine", but also "Frankie Marcos & Clouds", Pedro Tamayo, Colombian pianist Hernán Gutiérrez and William Sánchez, musical director of "Sábado Gigante".
The greatly creative talent of CARLOS OLIVA and that of his friend, arranger and associate Camilo Valencia, are both responsible for the creation of musical themes for important television shows like Sevcec, Padre Alberto, Casa Club Magazine, Cristina and Ocurrió Así, the latter two awarded the BMI Latin Award. He has written more than 100 radio and television commercials, including those for Budweiser, Coors Light, Kellogg's, McDonalds, RC Cola, Pollo Tropical, Entenman's, Bacardi Breezer, Sears, Lipton, Brandsmart and Ford Motor Company, for which he was the Spokesman for South Florida's Hispanic Community. Carlos has also received the important Emmy Award for the music of "Pégate al 23", promotional television campaign for Channel 23, an affiliate of Univision Network.
The rhythm and liveliness of CARLOS OLIVA and The Judge's Nephews is contagious and their performances in stages worldwide are memorable. In Brazil, for instance, sales of more than two hundred and fifty thousand copies were reported of CD "Caribbean Dance", for which the band received a Gold Record. Performances in that country included the most important television shows and a tour of many cities.
The musical, talented and Cuban CARLOS OLIVA, has represented Miami year after year in the world renowned festival "Calle 8", of which he was founder-associate as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana. The many events of which CARLOS OLIVA and The Judge's Nephews have been part of, include "Viva Broward", "El Carnaval Latino de New Orleans", "Carnavales de Panamá", "La Parada de los Reyes Magos", and the "Orange Bowl Parade" in Miami. Performances in Disney World have been applauded in Pleasure Island's Main Stage, as well as in the Jazz Club and the America Theater of Epcot Center. As a great humanitarian, Carlos and LSDJ have always been part of the "Telemaratón de la Liga Contra el Cáncer", "Manos en Acción", "March of Dimes" and many others.
In his most recent CD, "Yayabo" (river in Sancti-Spritus), Carlos wanted to express his love for the beautiful place that witnessed his birth, in a fantastic production.The traditional conga "Yayabo" and "Vehículo/Tu carrito" are true exponents of the musical quality of this band.
Those who have not danced to and enjoyed the music of CARLOS OLIVA and The Judge's Nephews DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY HAVE MISSED!
Live performances are a mixture of rhythm and flavor (SABOR Y RITMO!), the best music to dance to and enjoy listening!
The music of CARLOS OLIVA and The Judge's Nephews!